Inconsistent Eagles split double-dip|[4/17/06]

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 17, 2006

In a span of six hours Friday, the Porters Chapel Academy Eagles showed all sorts of potential.

As in, the potential to be state champions or the potential to lose in the first round of the playoffs.

PCA cranked out 14 hits and rolled to an 11-1 win over Carroll Academy, then turned around and managed only four hits in an 8-2 loss to Hillcrest Christian in the second game of a Good Friday doubleheader.

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&#8220Today was kind of a microcosm of our entire season. We can be real good at times, or we can be real bad at times, and that’s exactly what happened today,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. &#8220We just have to figure out how to bring the good team to the field when we get to the playoffs.”

Wright needs to figure it out in a hurry. The Eagles (18-8-1) open the playoffs Tuesday night at 7 at Benton Academy, and they’re heading in on a lackluster performance.

Dan Ivey and Chris Mixon hit solo home runs in the loss to Hillcrest (18-6), but the Eagles managed only two singles otherwise. PCA pitchers allowed six walks, and a pair of errors helped Hillcrest score three runs.

Sandon Bell went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for Hillcrest (18-6), and Chad Wooten and Matthew Parker each drove in two runs. Josh Rogers held PCA to three hits and one run in five solid innings to earn the win and improve his record to 3-1.

&#8220I told my guys to just put it in play and get the timely hits we needed,” Hillcrest coach Shane Kelly said.

After PCA took a 1-0 lead on Mixon’s solo homer in the bottom of the third, Hillcrest answered with four runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead for good.

Carlos Moncrief led off the inning with a double, and scored on a single by Bell to tie the game. After a one-out walk to Wooten, Parker doubled down the left field line to plate two more runs. Parker then stole third and scored when the throw bounced into left field to give the Cougars a 4-1 lead.

Wooten added a two-run single in the fifth to make it 6-1, and a two-out error in the sixth led to the final Hillcrest runs. Moncrief and Bell brought them in on back-to-back singles after PCA shortstop Michael Busby dropped a soft line drive.

&#8220I think it took us a while. Once we got the bats going, hitting is contagious and that took over,” Kelly said.

For Wright, it seemed more like a wasted opportunity to pick up a win over the MPSA Class AAA power.

The Eagles wasted the early lead, left the bases loaded in the fifth when a hit could have kept them in the game, and never followed up Ivey’s solo shot in the sixth that cut it to 8-2. Hillcrest reliever Alston Hartzog retired the last six batters in order to close it out.

&#8220We had a lot of opportunities to get the lead in this game, and we did have the lead,” Wright said. &#8220We just didn’t get it done.”

PCA 11, Carroll 1.

Cole Smith went 3-for-4 with an RBI, Matt Cranfield homered, and PCA cruised to the rout.

Smith also earned the win with a stellar performance on the mound. He allowed only a single and an unearned run in the first inning, and finished with a five-inning one-hitter. Smith (4-1) walked one and struck out five.

The game was a tight, 2-1 affair until PCA blew it open in the fourth inning. The Eagles scored five in that frame and four more in the fifth to finish it by the mercy rule.

Moose Carney and Spencer Pell each went 2-for-3 with two RBIs for PCA, and Ivey was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.

Clinton 6, Warren Central 5.

Nick Carson had three hits, including a double, home run and an RBI, in Warren Central’s loss to Clinton on Friday night.

The two rivals are scheduled to play again today at noon at Viking Field.

Jeff Ward and Sean Elliott each had two hits in the loss.

Neal Barlow doubled to lead Clinton.

The Vikings fell to 17-8 on the season.